Provocative and journalism driven account of a nation that, under the threat of perpetual war, was able to make a multi-racial, -ethnic, and -cultural country emerge from the desert and become a technology startup powerhouse. Gives patterns of development that will help investors understand the ecosystems that successful startups come from. Particularly useful for juxtaposing to East Asia, specifically Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.

My Notes By Chapter

  • 1: Fraud Sciences and eBay, meeting requested by Benchmark Capital (Andy Rachleff, Marc Andreesseen and the Only Thing That Matters.) Shvat Shaked.
  • "Our idea is simple. We believe that the world is divided between good people and bad people. And the trick to beating fraud is to distinguish between them on the web—Good people leave traces of themselves on the Internet, digital footprints, because they have nothing to hide. Bad people don't because they try to hide themselves. All we do is look for footprints. If you can find them, you can minimize risk to an acceptable level and underwrite it. It really is that simple."
  • eBay/PayPal had to acquire the company immediately.
  • Flat organization, this was Fraud Sciences culture. Israeli chutzpah: Yiddish, german-slavic language, gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible guts, presumption plus arrogance.
  • Nickname barometer: you can tell a lot about a society based on how its members refer to its elites. Israel is the only place in the world where everybody in a position of power, including prime ministers and army generals, has a nickname used by all, including the masses.
  • Value Neutral: All performance is value neutral. So long as the risk was taken intelligently, there is something to be learned. It is critical to distinguish between a well-planned experiment and a roulette wheel. "We don't cheerlead you for a good performance, and we don't terminate you for a bad performance."
  • Harvard University 2006: "Entrepreneurs who have failed in their enterprise previously have a 1 in 5 chance of success in their next startup, which is a higher success rate than for first time entrepreneurs and not that far

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